BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day (pre-recorded)

© John Denney 29 July 2004


I went into one of those hi-gloss coffee shops the other day, sat in an easy chair with Corriere della Sera in my hand, when the waiter came over.The conversation went something like this:

What can I bring you, sir?

A coffee, please.

Do you want Espresso, Macchiato, Ristretto, Americano, Cappuccino or Latte?

Er .. er

And is it short, tall or grande?

Er .. er

High-octane, normal, half-caf or unleaded?

Er .. er

Con panna, full-cream, skinny or in the buff?

J-J-Just a regular coffee, please.

Regular?Regular?Iím sorry sir, but really, regular?This is a prizewinning beverage outlet and you ask for a regular coffee!

Oh dear! Ö Iíll just have a glass of water, then.

Is that millpond, crťmant, foaming, effervescent or fizzy?With a twist, or citrus-free?Italian, French, Spanish, Irish, Scottish or domestic?Half litre, litre or two-litre?Glass or straw or glass and straw?Chilled or room temperature?Titanic or without ice?Peach, fruits of the forest, cranberry, lemon or as nature intended?

I decided that I wasnít thirsty any more.


These days weíre used to having a lot of choice, not just in coffee, but in everything.What colour dress?What make of car?What font on my computer?Soccer or Rugby?Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?Thereís often too much choice.I get stuck with menus: if I have a choice of say three things, I can choose easily.When there are twenty dishes on the menu, Iím lost.

There are more important choices we have to make though.Shall we marry or just live together?What sacrifices must we make for our children?Is it wrong for me to pinch a little office stationery for the children to use?Is it unethical not to give money to charity appeals?Since itís my body, what harm is there if I overdo the alcohol or do some drugs?Am I going to try to live according to Godís standards, or to ones I invent for myself?

As they say, too many people treat the Ten Commandments as if they were the ten suggestions.Itís no good agreeing with the ďDon't murderĒ commandment if we ignore the ďDon't commit adulteryĒ one.Itís no good being a good Samaritan if you donít love God too.

You see, on Godís menu, thereís only one choice: are you with Him, or against Him?


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